by Oana Marcu
There is something we rarely bring out about Merigar East in public communications: our hard times. We write out news trying to stay positive and attract community members: if they come to us, they will have good times.
But in smaller meetings or over a beer with other gakyil friends, we do share some of the struggles. We are struggling. The main reason can be called “lack of participation”. It seems that our worldwide Sangha does not have right now as much energy as needed to infuse the numerous places it economically maintains. We lack a red gakyil, a gekö, members of the board of advisors, project managers and karma yogis in general. We have been working now for many years understaffed, thus building tensions and exhaustion. We are keeping up, alternating burn out and rest every three year stint.
Running a Gar requires capacity, dedication and will. Still, we often end up in the gakyil because “someone has to do it/no one offered to do it”.
We take for granted that there was a wish to create a community, shared by everyone, not just by our Master. But now we wonder to what extent our members believe in and wish to co-manage communities and physical spaces? I wish we could bring everyone to the big courtyard of Merigar East, look each other in the eyes and take decisions together. But it is difficult to look 600 people in the eye (that’s the approximate number of practitioners in the Merigar East Sangha). It is difficult to imagine a meeting where 600 people can all have a say. As a sociologist I believe in the potential of conversational formats for large groups, but bringing all the Sangha together here remains in the realm of fantasy unless our Teacher has mercy on us and decides to have a retreat here! So, we establish more realistic goals, such as having more than 30% of the Sangha open our emails, or more than 10% of them answering an opinion survey with five questions.
I am dreaming of participatory decision making, while our Annual assemblies feel a bit like faking it, with around 1% of the members participating. I am dreaming of connecting with our ling’s gakyils and working together, but right now I am having a hard time getting answers to emails. I would love us to have an open international space for listening and making plans together. Right now, although IDC gakyil has been supportive and helpful, they are fatigued too and need help. Also, we are not sure what kind of support we should expect from overarching organisations such as ATIF.
Is our Sangha a mirror of a world that is fast paced, overstressed and eternally lacking time? Just like in the wider world, national divisions and ideas about “us” and “them” are born: “we need to think first about OUR place/people/territory, then to think about the others”. Conservation and protection of our property seem to be a current mood, more than enthusiasm, expansion and the worldwide cosmopolitanism of our bright beginnings.
We are thinking about ourselves these days, as we are revising our marketing identity. What can our input be in the busy community schedule of 5-15 online events every day? How much effort can we still put into making Merigar East a desirable place to be? How can we promote the place and the teachings to a Romanian public, in the face of an overflowing offer of spiritual products and services?
Driven by Migmar’s confident and steady input, we managed to pull off a big project, the Gönpa Renovation, that took place as an artistic summer camp last summer and will continue this year. We have received support from our donors and voluntary work from young artists. We know we can do it!
But we need help. We need people who can believe! We need people who are courageous enough to dream! We need people who can take matters in their hands and drive enthusiasm! Bring your energy to Merigar East! Let’s start spinning and, like a centrifuge, everything will start to move with us.
Write to us. We listen. We read. We answer.
Merigar East: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Solar Energy for Merigar East
The sun radiates light and heat, which makes it possible for life to exist on earth. All the energy radiates out from the center of our solar system in the form of light, heat, gamma and x-rays, and magnetic fields. Every day the light of the Sun shines on the Earth, driving many chemical and physical changes across the planet. But what would the sun be without water?
Support Merigar East, where the five elements manifest themselves more strongly, in transforming the energy of the powerful Black Sea sun! We are taking our first steps to introduce this source of energy at our Gar, to help us stabilize the pump for the water well.
In 2022 we invested around 1500 euro to diagnose and repair some problems to our Gar’s electrical grid. With this we made the Gar safer but bitterly discovered that the energy fluctuations we are experiencing are mainly due to the cable connecting us to the electricity distribution network, which would be too expensive to repair. An immediate solution we could afford, with your help, is a modest, additional power supply that could at least prevent water from being interrupted during these fluctuations.
We are getting a small setup of 3kw photovoltaic panels with a battery, to feed and stabilize the main well pump and the camping area. We need to gather 5000 euro in order to achieve this project. The well-being of our guests (and you can be among them) depends on it!
Support us by donating here! With your contribution, we will transform money into light, light into water, water into life.
We welcome you to come and experience the openness that this unique place offers in abundance!
Merigar East friends